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Rumors of a Bear Market Are Greatly Exaggerated

Mark Vickery
·3 min read

Market indexes raged into the last half hour of trading, pushing the Dow up 710 points at one late juncture. This rally would take a 100+ point slide down in the final few minutes of trading, but finished Election Day 2020 up strongly, +555 points or +2.06%. The S&P 500 registered its second-highest Election Day regular trading session in history, up 59 points or +1.78%. The Nasdaq performed even better, +203 points or +1.85%. The small-cap Russell 2000 outperformed them all, +2.91 or +45.70 points.

We discussed in this space earlier today that Election Day itself was likely a catalyst for positive sentiment in the market today, though not necessarily on behalf of either candidate — just on the process finally coming to a close. Renewable Energy and Building Products would likely get a boost with a Biden victory, Mining and Financials would be better for a second Trump administration. Today, it was Industrials, Financials and Communications sectors performing well, suggesting traders were taking a little from Column A, a little from Column B.

Economic stimulus looks to be the real driver here; with the election soon out of the way (hopefully), investors look toward Congress reconvening to finally put together a compromise bill to succeed the very successful CARES Act, which expired back at the end of July. We saw last week in the Q3 GDP headline figure of +33.1% — the single-largest quarterly gain in history — how helpful the CARES Act, as well as multiple moves by the Fed to promote borrowing and spending, can be to the economy. Another shot in the arm, so to speak (as we await a Covid-19 vaccine to eventually make it to market), would signal an economic rally going into 2021.

Professional pollsters generally do not expect a clear outcome to the election by the end of Tuesday, unless it is of a surprise blowout for one candidate or the other. States like Florida and Texas have enormous treasures of electoral votes, as do the Great Lakes states still considered in play, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Should most of these states break in one direction as their Eastern and Central Standard Time polls close, we may get a better indication of who the Commander in Chief will be for the next four years. If not, we could be in for another rollercoaster ride — both in vote counts and market moves.

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